Give Me Liberty and Give Me Love

So, Carole Lombard and Clark Gable got married on this day, 29 March, back in 1939. Ginger Rogers tied the proverbial knot with someone or other in 1929; dear Molly Sugden, whom most folks today know as Mrs. Slocombe, a woman closest to her pussy, was Being Served, be it well or ill, with a license to wed in 1958; and the to me unspeakable ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair proved that he had popped the question fruitfully by walking down the aisle with someone named Cherie. It is a time-honored institution, no doubt; and one that has protected many a woman before her sex was granted the right to vote; but it is concept I find difficult to honor and impossible to obey nonetheless (which explains my love for the first three quarters of the average screwball comedy, the genre in which Lombard excelled).

Republicans should be appalled by the very idea of such sanctioning from above—but they are generally too narrow-minded to realize or mind, having little regard for what lies outside the norm protected by law, the norm that is a mere construct of law. Let’s face it, what has government to do with the union of two consenting adults, whether for the purpose of business, procreation, or recreation? It is, or ought to be, a legally binding contract that, even if is was got into romantically or else for reasons of stability intended for the safety of the issues that may (or very well may not) result from such a bond, and thus a matter of business, however romanticized.

As Francis Bacon put it, the

most ordinary cause of a single life, is liberty, especially in certain self-pleasing and humorous minds, which are so sensible of every restraint, as they will go near to think their girdles and garters, to be bonds and shackles. Unmarried men are best friends, best masters, best servants; but not always best subjects; for they are light to run away; and almost all fugitives, are of that condition.

Even the most fleeting acquaintance with historical facts will tell you that marriage is chiefly a matter of politics and trade. Love does not require securities, even it it is often without granted rights and legal protection. Indeed, some of the strongest relationships and greatest partnerships were forged in the face of and as a response to oppression and persecution. I have little respect and less love for an institution which itself is not merely the product but the cause of oppression. Keep the rice and boil it!

2 Replies to “Give Me Liberty and Give Me Love”

  1. In titling this post so, might you have been thinking of Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger\’s \”Give Me Liberty or Give Me Love,\” from a certain Ms. Colbert\’s Torch Singer? I have yet to see the film, but I was aware that it spawned that cleverly named ditty.Your final two sentences mirror my sentiments.

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  2. Torch Singer, yes. It\’s a pre-code delight, with Colbert searching high and (very) low for either.I thought I was being rather harsh here; but the tone reflects my attitude. I could have been an American by now had I stooped to a marriage of convenience. Always the alien, never the bride.

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